Épuisé, Mike Horn se confie à propos de son impressionnante perte de poids

Le 2 décembre 2019, Mike Horn, le célèbre explorateur a posté un message de détresse sur son compte Instagram. Lui et son compagnon de route, Børge Ousland, sont en danger de mort en Arctique.

Mike Horn et son acolyte Børge Ousland sont connus par leurs périples extrêmes. En 1997, les deux explorateurs ont atteint le sommet du mont Mismi, au Pérou. C’était leur première grande expédition. 

Par la suite, ils ont enchaîné les exploits, notamment le tour du monde en 1999 en suivant l'Équateur ou bien encore le tour du Monde par le cercle polaire en 2002.

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Expedition Update 38: After fixing @BorgeOusland’s sled yesterday, we were a little nervous to start using it again, but luckily it held together. It did however have a significant impact on our progress. As we cannot risk pulling it across open water leads, we spent our day transferring all the equipment in my sled to avoid getting our equipment wet. We had to repeat this process 3 times today, and who knows how many more times we will have to repeat it until the end of the expedition, although I hope not for too long! As for the wind, it is no longer in our favour and is now blowing straight into our faces, which is causing the ice drift to push us back north from where we came from. We are persisting though, although the progress is slow, and we hope to reach 82 degrees north in the next 2 to 3 days. For some reason, when you know the end is near, the days seem so much longer. Although the extreme cold and negative drift are really challenging us, we are confident that with our remaining food, we have a good shot at meeting the boat that is now on its way to pick us up. As for our physical state, we are feeling increasingly fatigued and fragile. We estimate to have each lost something between 10-15kgs, and we weren’t very fat to begin with…This is when I regret not gaining more weight before the start of the expedition, but even if I wanted to, I didn’t get much time to build fat reserves following my expedition to K2 in July…but this is the adventure I signed up for and I knew what I was getting myself into. As you can imagine though, we have both been DREAMING about food, especially these last couple of weeks. And even though we were careful to pack enough treats like these Norwegian chocolates you can see in today's picture, we are still craving more!!! So this is a call out to anyone who wants to send me the best chocolate they know, and don’t forget to tell me why that chocolate is so special through a post or a story on your Instagram page. I can't wait to hear your stories and taste your chocolates when I get back! (send my team an email via the mikehorn.com website for more info) #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #Mike Horn #Chocolate!!!

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Cette idée de traverser l’Arctique a été lancée le 8 mai 2016 à Monaco quand le Pangaea avait mis le cap vers le pôle Sud et en terminant par la traversée de l'Antarctique en février 2017, ce périple a été baptisé "Pole2Pole". En connaissant Mike Horn et son ami Børge Ousland, rien les arrête !

Le 25 août 2019, les deux explorateurs ont mis la voile pour l’Arctique à bord du navire Pangaea. Mike Horn et Børge Ousland ont donné le départ à Nome, en Alaska. Les deux hommes se sont donné pour objectif de traverser l'océan Arctique.

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Expedition Update 37: Bad luck knocked us down today…after 80 days on the ice, something happened that we hadn’t prepared for…@BorgeOusland’s sled broke, the entire front part cracked. I guess that after constant tug and pull, the weight of our equipment, the harsh surface it has been pulled over and the extreme cold temperatures, this was bound to happen at some point. But why now, when we least need it? Anyway, it is what it is and now we have to live with it. We have no choice but to come up with a way to fix it if we want to end this expedition once and for all. If we do not manage to repair it, the weight will have to be distributed differently, which means I will have to pull a much heavier load, which would slow me down drastically. As our bodies are already in a fragile state, this is not the optimal option, so we’ve decided to set up camp and start sowing the sled back together. Now we are in a situation where we have to sacrifice walking and resting time in order to spend time fixing. This is a very tedious task that requires precision and effort, and as you can imagine, our focus levels and sowing skills are clearly not at their best right now. Nevertheless we started melting holes through the plastic to leash the cracks back together. The process is long and our fingers are suffering, but nothing can stop two determined men! Once Borge’s sled sewed-up, we should be able to start walking again, but we are going to have to be extra careful to avoid water at all times. The sled won’t be able to float anymore, water would infiltrate through the cracks and bring the whole thing down…and the last thing we need right now is wet sleeping bags. What a disappointment…but these are the surprises you cannot prepare for and these are the challenges that put us to the ultimate test and show us what we are really capable of in times of hardship. 80 days on the ice…it feels like a lifetime spent up here. It’s really time for us to get back home now. Crazy to think that some people go around the world in 80 days and some only cross the Arctic Ocean in 80 days, and it’s not even over yet… #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #MikeHorn

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Les deux aventuriers ont atteint la mer de glace le 12 septembre 2019, et par la suite ils ont continué la route en se déplaçant à skis de randonnée et en tirant derrière eux des traîneaux sur lesquels sont stockés leurs provisions de survies.


Le périple en terre polaire des deux hommes ne s’est pas vraiment déroulé comme prévu. Mike Horn et Børge Ousland doivent faire face à des conditions extrêmement difficiles sans parler du froid glacial. De plus, le vent souffle beaucoup et peut atteindre une vitesse folle, ce qui empêche les deux aventuriers d’avancer.

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Expedition Update 32: After fighting our way across this massive open water lead that has been haunting us for the past couple of days, we finally managed to make get to the other side. It is really tough when obstacles like these swallow up so much of our precious time. As the days go by, our food rations are decreasing and as it stands, at this progress rate we are not sure we will be able to reach the pickup point where Pangaea will be waiting for us at the latitude of approximately 82 degrees North. But we are also happy to know that soon this challenging expedition will be coming to an end and that although we were physically and mentally prepared, nature and the changes going on in the climate will always have the first word. In this photo, we can see @BorgeOusland eating breakfast. You will notice that he sleeps in a plastic bag, which we call vapor barrier liners. We use these to prevent the humidity of our bodies to travel into the sleeping back which would consequently cause the bag to freeze given the extreme cold temperatures. This isn’t optimal comfort, but after a while, you get used to it. The lack of sunlight is really starting to have an effect on our progression and our mindset. Although I have already travelled through constant darkness, I never realized as much as I do now, how essential light is for everything. The air is pure and clean up here, which is great for our physical health, but the lack of natural light is taking its toll on our mental health…It really is about finding that balance required to live a healthy and happy life. As humans we are designed to adapt and excel in different environments, but this doesn’t mean we are meant to survive in those environments. I love being in a situation where I can push my limits to come to these conclusions. It is only when you will be completely deprived from a fundamental human need, that you will understand the real worth of the gift that is life, and that the key to living it to the fullest usually lies in our very own hands. Still no sight of a single polar bear, Borge and I are really starting to wonder where they are all hiding?! #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #MikeHorn

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Le 2 décembre 2019, Mike Horn a posté un message très inquiétant sur leur état de santé sur son compte Instagram :

"Nous nous sentons de plus en plus fatigués et fragiles. Nous estimons avoir perdu chacun entre 10 et 15 kg, et nous n'étions pourtant pas très gros au début..."

Ce message a été accompagné d’une photo ou on aperçoit des chocolats et l’aventurier a sorti un peu humour :

"Comme vous pouvez l'imaginer, on rêve tous les deux de nourriture, surtout depuis ces dernières semaines...Je lance donc un appel à tous ceux qui souhaiteraient m'envoyer le meilleur chocolat qu'ils connaissent (...) j'ai hâte de pouvoir les goûter quand je reviendrai !".

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Expedition Update 21: We are celebrating our first month on the ice today! It is crazy how time flies. When you are so focused on your goal, you barely see the days pass by. The sun barely lightens up the Arctic anymore. The days are now mostly cloudy and grey and the nights are getting much longer and darker. We have now started using our headlamps, and from now on this simple tool will become vital. Here on the first photo, we can see @BorgeOusland trying to get some humidity out of his jacket. It is a constant fight to keep ourselves and our equipment dry. Although the temperatures are cold, we still sweat when we walk and make our way over obstacles. This sweat then freezes to our clothing, causing our bodies to cool down a lot faster. We therefore need to be careful not to sweat too much and to make sure to dry our clothes whenever we can. We are very close to the pole now, less than one degree latitude left and we’ll be standing on top of the world! Although the conditions are still tough, the excitement of reaching the pole is clearly starting to build up. To our surprise, we still need to paddle across open water leads on occasions. As always this activity takes a lot of energy and slows down our progress, especially now that the temperatures drop as low as -38C. Southern drifts have slowed down a bit but still challenge us on a daily basis, it is like the Arctic is a moving dance floor…but we are here for the adventure, and that’s what we’re getting. Hopefully, next time I send you an update, I’ll be sending it from the North Pole – so stay tuned and wish us luck and good weather! #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #MikeHorn

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Dernièrement, la star d’"À l’état sauvage" est tombé dans l'eau glacée après être passée au travers de la banquise. Un accident qui a poussé l'équipe à envisager un plan de secours pour leur venir en aide.

Le 2 décembre 2019, un autre malheur a frappé les deux aventuriers. Le traineau de Børge Ousland s'est cassé. Un incident que l’explorateur sud-africain n’a pas manqué de partager sur son compte Instagram :

“Après quatre-vingt jours passés sur la glace, quelque chose à laquelle nous n'étions pas préparés est arrivée. Le traîneau de Børge Ousland a craqué... Toute la partie avant est arrachée”

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#MikesDailyThoughts: It is safe to say, that at this stage of the expedition @BorgeOusland and I have both entered into survival mode. This got me thinking about survival and the strange behavioural pattern it triggers, which is something I realized we know and hear little about. I have observed that between Borge and I, conversations have decreased while actions have increased, which is a subconscious way for us to save all the energy we can. I have even noticed that the way we look at things has changed; we no longer admire the beauty around us, we only use our eyes to anticipate our next step and spot potential risks or threats. Here in the Arctic, we are connected to nature in way that I will never be back home. After spending 20 days in this harsh environment, I have grown sensitive to my surroundings to the point where I can now feel one degree drop in the temperature. I can also sense the speed of the wind, as well as its direction, with my eyes closed, just by the way it blows against me. I can predict the thickness of the ice by looking at it and by hearing the sound it makes when I ski over it. Here, in the Arctic, I have developed the instinct of an animal, whose one purpose is to survive. Throughout my years of exploration, my mental strength has overcome my physical strength to such an extent where I can now trust it without even having to question it. Without the power of the mind, I would have never achieved most of the things I have in my life – it is my secret tool, and the best part is that it can become yours too if it isn’t already!

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Actuellement, les deux explorateurs rencontrent plusieurs difficultés, face à cela une équipe accompagné du journaliste Hugo Clément est en chemin au bord du navire le Pangaea  pour secourir les deux hommes. 

Sur son compte Instagram, l’homme de 53 ans a déclaré :

"Même si le froid extrême et le vent nous mettent au défi, avec la nourriture qu'il nous reste, nous pensons avoir une bonne chance d'atteindre le bateau qui est en chemin pour nous récupérer"

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Expedition Update 14: A very hard day. Maybe the hardest day so far. After the snowfall we had, the mild temperatures turned the snow into slush on the thin ice. It sucks the sleds in and makes it very difficult for us to pull them. The great news though is that we finally reached the latitude of 88 degrees north. Weather forecasts predict southern drifts for the next 3 days, so from now on our goal is to stay beyond 88 degrees north. When we get into the tent, we melt some snow and ice to be able to eat and drink. It is important for us to be careful which types of snow and ice we use, because young ice has salt in it as it is frozen seawater. Once in the tent, we get into our sleeping bags and this is where we stay until we get out of the tent the next morning at 6am. At this stage of the expedition, we are eating about 5000 to 5500 calories per day and have not yet started to feel hungry. In 12 days from now, we will have to increase our calorie intake to 6500 to compensate for the colder weather conditions coming our way. Eating properly and sufficiently is essential to the success of any expedition. Of course, food is our fuel to continue making physical progress, but is also a comfort for us in these harsh conditions. Starting the day with a warm meal gives us energy to leave the tent, and after every long day, we look forward to getting back in the tent to eat another warm meal before we get some sleep…and as we all know, a man with a full belly is a happy man! #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #MikeHorn

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Le 3 décembre 2019, l'aventurier a parlé de la distance qu’ils sont parvenus à parcourir sur son compte Instagram :

"Aujourd'hui, à l'endroit où nous nous trouvons actuellement, nous avons parcouru un peu plus de 1300 km en ligne droite, ce qui signifie que nous devrions encore parcourir 300 km si nous souhaitons atteindre Pangea."

On espère que lui et son acolyte, Børge Ousland, s'en sortiront et que le navire Pangaea arrivera à temps pour les secourir et les ramener sur la terre ferme.


L’aventurier sud-africain, Mike Horn, est aussi un père de famille, sa fille ainée se prénomme, Annika. Cette dernière a livré une interview au Parisien le 22 novembre 2019. Elle a parlé de son inquiétude sur l’état de santé de son père qui se trouve quelque part en Arctique.

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Expedition Update 33: Last night was our coldest night so far. @BorgeOusland and I didn't manage to sleep much, the cold kept on waking us up. So we got up, out of the tent and started skiing at -40C in a beautiful clear night with the moonlight reflecting on the snow. This was the first clear night since we left the North Pole. Although the moonlight offered us a beautiful setting to walk in, today was another close-disaster day; but thanks to the good reflexes we have acquired over time, the situation turned out to be manageable. As we were walking Borge’s sled got caught up on some ice, so he started tugging at it to release it but the pressure of the tug caused the ice below him to give way. It was only at that moment that we realised we were walking over very thin snow-covered ice. Half of his body fell in this slush icy water, but he immediately rolled himself back and managed to get back on the more solid ice. He was wet from the waist-down on the outside of his clothing but luckily the moisture hadn’t made its way through the layers to the skin. As soon as he was out, he rolled himself in the snow to absorb a max amount of moisture. We call this method freeze drying: the moisture is absorbed and frozen by the dry snow, which can then be brushed off the exterior layer of our waterproof clothing. In these situations, the other person feels completely useless. There is nothing you can really do except assist with the detaching of the sled and potentially already setting up the tent urgently if clothing needs to be removed, changed and the body dried. We are slowly approaching the latitude of 85 degrees north on the Norwegian side, which for reminder is the same latitude where we got dropped off by Pangaea on the Alaskan side. But in the meantime we covered over 1000km of terrain passing by the North Pole. Our goal now is to power our way through to 84 or 83 degrees north with the remaining food we have, which slowly but surely starting to run out. But we are well prepared and have explored all possible alternatives, with just over 10 days of food left, it is finally time for us to go back home to our loved ones! #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #MikeHorn

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